Thursday, July 30, 2009

Egelhoff's Excellent Question

Here's how she frames it:

How much does an ambulance cost all of us? No, not how much does an ambulance cost you, but how much does an ambulance cost the system, cost all of us?

No question that ambo-runs are overused. It's become like a taxi (with a $zillion in fancy appurtenances and a 3-man crew.)

At $600-$750/run, that's a helluvalotta taxi.

The City of Brookfield's fire department is still sending an engine company on every ambo run. It's good for the Fire Department's 'numbers'---the chief can talk about "needs"---when in 90% of the cases there is no need whatsoever for an engine company. Period.

But the aldermen swallow the KoolAde every year. After all, it's not their money.


Neo-Con Tastic said...

Drudge is on the same wave length today:

Disgruntled Car Salesman said...

The Townie Brookfield Cops love to send out the calvary for any stop. It's pretty ridiculous to watch the train of five or six squasds, fire trucks, ambulances and the fire chief's Explorer come out for a flat tire on the side of Bluemound.

GOR said...

“$600-$750”…??? Try north of $1,000, Dad.

I recently had the experience – for the first time. After a visit to a clinic and preliminary tests, the doctor announced that she was sending me to the hospital for ‘further tests’ and had called an ambulance! As my wife had driven me to the clinic and the hospital was only 20 minutes away, she inquired if we couldn’t just drive there. “Well, you could” the doctor replied somewhat doubtfully, “but it’s procedure”.

Shortly the ambulance arrived – with a crew of three – closely followed by a Paramedic in an SUV. Hooked up to assorted sensors (about 8 of them) and oxygen (“Why oxygen…? - ‘Procedure’). I’m thinking I don’t need oxygen. I need a cigarette! Then after some dark mutterings about ‘heart-rate’ ‘pulse’, ‘something on the X-rays’ and a call to the hospital ER staff, we took off. At which point I’m now thinking: “If they turn on the siren and the lights, I’m in deep sh#t…” They didn’t - and the condition turned out to be a minor one, thank God.

Now while I’m grateful for the care and professionalism of the staff, I wonder if the ‘procedures’ were not a bit much. I suspect that there was something of a CYA about them - leaving no stone unturned in case of subsequent lawsuits. But all’s well that ends well, or it will be – once I’ve paid the bills!